SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – “Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Huntington Lady Raiders Head Coach Brian Shyne cares more than most. He focuses on building special bonds with his players off the court, that carry onto it.
“We’ve always wanted to instill in kids that we love them as a person first, and care about you as a person first before basketball even starts,” said Shyne.
It’s that caring mindset that has helped Asia Jones-Reed excel as a Lady Raider because she’s in it for more than just individual accolades.
“I keep playing even though I mess up,” said Jones-Reed. “I’m just gonna go back and fix my mistake and go on to the next move. I’m not gonna give up on my team.”
It’s also that team-first mindset that has helped the Lady Raiders make three consecutive top-28 finishes. This year, they feel like the lessons they learned in their loss to Warren Easton in the semifinals will propel them to their ultimate goal.
“Champions pay attention to small details in practice,” said Shyne. “I think the years prior we’ve been so young. We’ve been talented, but young. Also, don’t take anything for granted, it’s hard to get there. So when you get there, you wanna make some noise and make it happen.”
If the Lady Raiders accomplish their ultimate goal, Asia’s presence in the paint will carry them there.
“My expectations for myself is to get at least a double-double,” she said.
“She is actually the biggest part of what we’re trying to do,” added Jones-Reed. “If Asia shows up, if Asia makes lay-ups, if Asia makes free throws, if she’s on time with her passing lanes and rotations, she’s going to make this team that much better.”